We always hear how the sun is bad for your skin. It’s no secret that the sun emits harmful ultraviolet radiation that penetrates the earth’s atmosphere and rains down on us. This radiation interacts with our skin cells and mutates our DNA resulting in sun damage like tanning, melasma, sun spots, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.
The horror stories surrounding sun damaged skin and its everlasting effect is enough to want to keep us inside forever. But you should know that there are some positive effects of minimal sun exposure. As a matter of fact, sunlight is essential to our growth and general health.
Our bright star in the sky is actually a giant orb of fusion reactions. That means that at the sun’s core, there is a continuous process of atoms being fused together. This fusion is what powers our sun for ages. The fusion reactions create energy thanks to hydrogen atoms being converted to helium. This solar energy is powerful enough to be distributed from the core and reach our tiny planet. Within that energy is high levels of radiation. Luckily, by the time it reaches the surface of the sun, and even down to the earth, it is less concentrated. UVA and UVB rays make it through the ozone layer and interact with us.
The sun provides light and warmth that is essential to life and keeps us from being a frozen wasteland, but the sun does much more than that, especially for our skin. While too much sun exposure can be harmful, brief moments of protected exposure to the sun can actually be a good thing. If you're wearing sunscreen, even at 30 SPF and higher, being outside allows the sun's rays to penetrate your skin. It's just much more protected with sunscreen than without.
Vitamin D, also known as the sun vitamin, is a necessary vitamin in our bodies. It helps our bodies to maintain normal levels of blood levels, calcium, and even phosphorus. This helps us to maintain strong and healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. If you burn easily and can't handle much sun, a vitamin D supplement is a safer choice and gives your body the same benefits. Confirm with your doctor before taking a supplement and enjoying its many benefits.
Scientists have determined that individuals who stay inside and refrain from getting sunlight are more likely to have Vitamin D deficiency. Lack in Vitamin D can lead to various diseases, including certain cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, and even rheumatoid arthritis.
While a bit of sunlight is essential, we can't forget the real dangers it poses. We should always remember to apply sunscreen (SPF 30+) before going out and limit the amount of time we spend in the sun.
If you want to learn more about how to get the right amount of vitamin D from professional dermatologists, our experts at The Dermatology Group in Cincinnati, Ohio, can offer advice and resources. Give us a call today!